Mental Health Screening: Lesson From History

Think forced treatment for mental illness can’t happen here?

Those scientists in the Western intelligence community who supported the idea of developing brain-washing programmes had two gurus?Dr Douglas Ewan Cameron, a Glasgow-born psychiatrist, and Dr. Sydney ?The Gimp? Gottlieb, the CIA?s top expert on brainwashing. Cameron won his post-graduate diploma in psychiatric medicine at the University of London before joining the staff at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, in 1926. He became convinced that the mentally ill posed a grave threat to Anglo-American civilisation and should be forcibly sterilised.

During the Second World War he was a member of the Military Mobilization Committee of the American Psychiatric Association and was appalled to learn that of the fifteen million men inducted into the US armed forces, two million had to be rejected on neuropsychiatric grounds, a proportion far higher than in any other nation. He set about finding remedies including electroshock (60,000 ECTs in a single year), lobotomies and other forms of psychosurgery, sensory deprivation and mind-altering drugs–all used on patients who had little or no say in their treatment. Conscientious objectors, many of them Quakers, were defined by Cameron as mentally-ill and sometimes forced to accept treatment.

If Congressman Ron Paul’s proposed amendment fails, we could see a return to those good old days.

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